Russell A. Berman

Senior Fellow

Russell A. Berman, the Walter A. Haas Professor in the Humanities at Stanford University, is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a co-chair of the Working Group on Islamism and the International Order.

Berman specializes in the study of German literary history and cultural politics. He is a member of both the Department of German Studies and the Department of Comparative Literature at Stanford. He has served in numerous administrative positions at Stanford.

He is the author of numerous articles and books including Enlightenment or Empire: Colonial Discourse in German Culture (1998) and The Rise of the Modern German Novel: Crisis and Charisma (1986), both of which won the Outstanding Book Award of the German Studies Association (in 2000 and 1987, respectively). Hoover Institution Press published his books In Retreat: America's Withdrawal from the Middle East (2014), Freedom or Terror: Europe Faces Jihad (2010), and Anti-Americanism in Europe: A Cultural Problem (2004). His other books include Fiction Sets You Free: Literature, Liberty, and Western Culture (2007), Cultural Studies of Modern Germany: Representation and Nationhood (1993), Modern Culture and Critical Theory: Art, Politics, and the Legacy of the Frankfurt School (1989), and Between Fontane and Tucholsky: Literary Criticism and the Public Sphere in Wilhelmine Germany (1983). He has also published numerous articles in the Hoover Digest, most recently "Marx’s Moldering Manifesto" (fall 2018). His writings have also appeared in Defining Ideas and Advancing a Free Society.

Berman has received many honors and awards including a Mellon Faculty Fellowship at Harvard University (1982–83), an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship (1988–89), and the Bundesverdienstkreuz of the Federal Republic of Germany (1997).

Berman received his BA in 1972 from Harvard and his doctorate from Washington University in 1979.

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Recent Commentary


Europe’s Pivot To Asia

by Russell A. Bermanvia Die Weltwoche
Thursday, June 18, 2020
In regard of China, economic relations seem to be more important to the EU than freedom and democracy. Is Europe still a reliable partner in the transatlantic alliance? Or will the Brussels-Berlin-Beijing axis dominate?

The Virus From China And American Political Debate

by Russell A. Bermanvia Telos
Wednesday, June 17, 2020

As of this writing, the precise origin of the Chinese virus, SARS CoV-2, remains unclear. It is however known that cases predated the eruption in the “wet market” in Wuhan—which in the meantime has been reopened, suggesting at least that Chinese authorities do not believe it was the source of the pandemic. The alternative theory that the virus escaped from experiments in one of Wuhan’s virology laboratories therefore remains plausible.

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The Pandemic In The Middle East: Unexpected Results And Pending Shifts

by Russell A. Bermanvia The Caravan
Tuesday, June 16, 2020

As bad as the cumulative impact of COVID-19 in terms of loss of life has been, it has been less devastating than initially predicted. At least such are the results to date, in mid-May 2020.


Outcry Over Troop Reductions In Germany Ignores Necessary Foreign Policy Debate

by Russell A. Bermanvia American Greatness
Sunday, June 14, 2020

President Trump’s plan to reduce the U.S. military footprint in Germany points to even more significant aspects of his foreign policy inclinations.

Analysis and CommentaryNational Security

We Need To Know Biden’s Foreign Policy Plans

by Russell A. Bermanvia Real Clear World
Tuesday, May 26, 2020

The 2020 presidential election is less than five months away. While the news cycle is still dominated by the pandemic and the economic consequences of the lockdown, the public needs to learn more about what is at stake for U.S. foreign policy in the upcoming contest. The Trump administration has taken some high-profile and controversial positions in world affairs. Now the electorate deserves to know where the presumptive Democratic candidate, Joe Biden, stands on these matters. 

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Russell A. Berman: COVID-19 And Globalism | Hoover Virtual Policy Briefing

interview with Russell A. Bermanvia Hoover Podcasts
Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Hoover Institution Fellow Russell A. Berman discusses COVID-19 And Globalism.

In the News

Nation-States Are Better Able To React To A Crisis Like The Coronavirus, Says Hoover Institution Fellow

featuring Russell A. Bermanvia Broadband Breakfast
Tuesday, May 12, 2020

The global response to the coronavirus shows that individual nation-states have greater response power than multi-nation organizations, Hoover Institution Senior Fellow Russell Berman said in a Stanford University virtual policy briefing Monday.

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Russell A. Berman: COVID-19 And Globalism

interview with Russell A. Bermanvia Hoover Virtual Policy Briefings
Tuesday, May 12, 2020

A Hoover Virtual Policy Briefing with Russell A. Berman: COVID-19 and Globalism
Tuesday, May 12, 2020 at 11AM PT/ 2PM ET.


Supporting America's Allies During COVID-19 Pandemic

by Russell A. Bermanvia The Washington Times
Tuesday, April 14, 2020

United States must offer medical help to friendly countries.

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Ibsen In Wuhan

by Russell A. Bermanvia Die Weltwoche
Friday, April 10, 2020

Great works of literature from the past can provide opportunities to reflect on our circumstances in the present. With the Wuhan virus upon us, no work is better suited than Henrik Ibsen’s drama An Enemy of the People of 1882, with its laser-sharp focus on the core questions of power and corruption, science and mass deception.